Connecticut’s unemployment rate continues to drop – but so does the number of residents still looking for work.
The December jobless rate fell from 7.6 percent to 7.4 percent, the state Labor Department reported Monday. But Connecticut also lost 3,900 jobs during that month.
The unemployment rate reflects the number of unemployed people compared with the entire workforce – which includes those employed and those seeking work. So if the total seeking work declines, the unemployment rate can drop even though the state loses jobs.
“Connecticut’s payroll job counts appear to have been affected by bad winter weather around the time of the survey reference week,” said Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research.
The state lost 3,800 private-sector jobs in December, and another 100 in the public sector. That wipes out the 3,800 jobs gained across both sectors in November.
Connecticut added a total of 11,500 jobs in 2013 and has recovered 59,400, or 49 percent, of the 121,200 jobs lost in the last recession, which ended in February 2010.
Four of the state’s six labor markets lost jobs in December: Norwich-New London; Hartford; Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk; and New Haven. Danbury was unchanged, while Waterbury posted a small gain.
While the financial activities sector of Connecticut’s economy posted job gains, nearly all other sectors reported losses or broke even.